DOJ orders filing of charges vs Mamasapano massacre suspects

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(File photo) The Mamasapano encounter between government troops and Moro rebels ended with 44 police commandos, 18 rebels, and four civilians dead.

(CNN Philippines) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has recommended filing of direct assault with murder charges against 88 suspects in the Mamasapano massacre.

The suspects are commanders and members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), and private armed groups (PAGs).

State prosecutors said the suspects should be charged with murder since they conspired to kill the Special Action Force (SAF) troopers.

"It must be noted that respondents waited for each other before going to the firing line; that the respondents arrived at the same time at the firing line," the DOJ resolution read.

On January 25, 2015, 45 SAF members were deployed to serve arrest warrants against terror suspects Marwan and Basit Usman in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

They were then reportedly gunned down like "sitting ducks" by hundreds of MILF and BIFF fighters.

All but one SAF trooper were killed in the incident.

"Marathon"

The prosecutors mainly based their recommendation on the sworn statement of an eye witness named "Marathon," a former MILF member.

He positively identified several MILF commanders and BIFF members who were firing their guns against the outnumbered policemen.

"He overheard the MI and Freedom group saying the that they were up against policemen," Marathon's affidavit in the DOJ resolution read.

At around 9 a.m., Marathon saw some SAF members coming out of a cornfield raising their arms in surrender.

The rebels, however, shot all of them to death.

"The victims were in the actual performance of their duties on that poignant day of January 25, 2015 when they were assaulted and atrociously killed," the DOJ resolution read.

Marathon added the rebels became aware of the identity of the armed group that engaged them as SAF troopers as early as 8 a.m.

The police forces are also in a defensive position during the encounter, giving the rebels an option to withdraw.

The rebels, however, still pursued the SAF troopers and killed them in broad daylight.

"Intent to kill"

The resolution said that on the part of the respondents, there is evidence of an intent to kill the SAF members.

The nature of injuries sustained by SAF troopers, the resolution explained, shows high-powered firearms were used on them.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory Office earlier reported that the victims' were fatally shot  in the neck and trunk.

The state lawyers said such showed an abuse of superior strength on the part of respondents, which makes them liable for murder.

Moreover, the SAF members were said to have been doomed from the start as their position in the cornfield was strategically disadvantageous.

"The option to prevent more bloodshed and, thus, the opportunity for the event to be declared a misencounter, belonged to the respondents," the DOJ resolution read.

The rebels also resorted to treacherous tactics by encircling the SAF troopers and shooting them from different locations.

Under Article 248 of Revised Penal Code, a person is guilty of murder if a person killed someone in a treacherous manner, among other circumstances.

The respondents charged for the complex crime of direct assault with murder are:

1. Abdul Wahab
2. Maroks Nanding
3. Muslimin Gumanding Amilil a.k.a. Moslimen Amilil
4. Repi Gugu a.k.a. Riffi Gugu a.k.a Riffi
5. Ustads Manan Saluwang
6. Abdul Wahab Kamsa
7. Aladin Sakal
8. Alex Ampatuan
9. Aljun Baklayan
10. Benjie Ampatuan
11. Bitol Guiaman
12. Boden Hadji Mao a.k.a. Sahabudin Kedza
13. Borgo Kasan
14. Borgo Kasnan
15. Commander Abdulrahman Abdulrakman Upam
16. Commander Rakman
17. Commander Refy Guiaman
18. Hadji Abdulsalam
19. Hadji Mohammad a.k.a. Hadji Muhammad
20. Khalim Keda a.k.a. Kalem Keda
21. Kommedo Galib
22. Monnie B. Samal a.k.a. Manny Samal
23. Mustapha I. Tatak
24. Nasri Salik
25. Nasser Adam
26. Rixback Tongan
27. Roland Samal a.k.a. Blackmoro Sapal
28. Saiden Laguilom
29. Samantin Upam
30. Samsudin Alis
31. Samsudin Salik
32. Samsudin Upam
33. Saudi Upam a.k.a. Sandi Upam
34. Sonny Pende
35. Toto Guiaman
36. Toto Sakal
37. Ustads Galib Rugioman
38. Waldo Hadji Abubakar
39. alias Campar
40. alias Gapor
41. alias Labnan Abu Halil
42. Abu Rusta
43. Badrudin Minidal Abdullah
44. Ben Tikaw
45. Datukan Sato Sabiwang
46. Guibar Amil Diya a.k.a. Jabar
47. Hud Lamban Abdullah a.k.a. Hud Amilil
48. Kagi Abdul Salam
49. Kamar Duma
50. Kambal Sabpa
51. Lakiman Klid Dawaling
52. Makku Tikaw a.k.a. Maku
53. Mahmod Pidtub Amilil
54. Marops Kudos Omar a.k.a. Marup
55. Mer Amilil
56. Mohammad Ali Tambako
57. Morsid Awab
58. Muhamidin Abas Sinsuat
59. Musa Awab
60. Musib Kamot Hasim
61. Noel Sinsuat Ganoy
62. Pendatun Utek Makakua a.k.a. Otik Pundatun a.k.a. Otik Pindatun
63. Rasul Mendo a.k.a. Rasul Animbang a.k.a. Bisaya
64. Salik Kikok a.k.a. Salik Kikuk
65. Suweb Inday Balabagan
66. Tamano Esmail Sabpa
67. Teng Sabpa a.k.a. Theng Sabpa
68. Ustads Madiyan
69. Abdul Waab Sabpa
70. Gapar Sinsuat|
71. Joel Tatak
72. Resbak Salindatu
73. Ustads Gali
74. Commander Anife
75. Commander Haumves a.k.a. Hamves
76. alias Diok
77. alias Johari
78. alias Juhari
79. alias Kalirin
80. alias Kutap
81. alias Moter
82. alias Mawiya
83. alias Ngods
84. alias Pakki
85. alias Ramos
86. alias Saudi
87. alias Sumba
88. alias Usah

In the Philippines, a person convicted of murder gets 40 years while direct assault means six years in jail.

It is now up to the National Bureau of Investigation to formally file charges against the said respondents.